“We stand together in good times and bad”. A passion shared between brothers.
Diego and Pablo Rodríguez are completely committed to training young drivers, and have become a key player in the FIA Karting paddock with their DPK Racing team, which sports the Spanish and Asturian colours so dear to their idol Fernando Alonso.
Great karting teams co-managed by two brothers are not common! Can you introduce yourselves?
We are Diego and Pablo Rodríguez, 32 and 30 years old respectively. Our father was very passionate about cars. He bought us our first go-kart when we were young children and we participated in competitions in Spain for a dozen years. From our teenage years, we simultaneously worked as mechanics, before creating the DPK Racing team in 2012. This has always been our goal. The desire to pass on our knowledge to young drivers and help them progress is one of our great motivations.
How did you manage to become one of the reference teams in the FIA Karting Championships?
All the encounters we have made during our travels and races have helped us to grow. They have been our driving force, as well as the drivers who have trusted us at regional, national and international level. Our first important results came in 2013 with the Spanish Championship for Guillermo Russo in Junior-KF3 and second place for Lluc Ibáñez in Cadet. Despite this, our international debut was not easy. The little money we earned in Spain was spent on helping drivers to race outside Spain, so that we could compete with the top teams as much as possible. Sometimes we got tyres from the rubbish bins for testing. We lacked the means to do things properly. Despite these difficulties, we never intended to give up. We continued to work with the illusion that one day we could become a benchmark team. We have not yet achieved all our goals, but we are proud of what we have already accomplished.
In the past, you have defended the FA Kart colours. Today, you represent the colours of Alonso Kart. What is your relationship with the two-time Formula 1 World Champion?
We became friends with Fernando Alonso many years ago. We met when he was still participating in the major international karting events. Since then, he has been our idol. His father has always helped and advised us. It is partly thanks to them that we are where we are now. To be the team that uses his brand of kart is something we are very proud of.
How is the collaboration with Dino Chiesa, KR Motorsport and IAME going?
The incredible trust they have given us since the first day of our collaboration is valuable and fruitful. We have learned a lot from them. We share information and try to help each other at all times. For the engines, we try to work internally as much as possible, but of course we have great support from Alberto and Bruno from IAME in OK and OK-Junior. Everything would be much more difficult without the help of all our technical partners.
What are your ambitions? Do you want to extend your influence, into KZ2 for example?
Our wish is to continue our involvement in international OK and OK-Junior events, trying to get the best results possible. After 2020, we are no longer directly involved in the Spanish Championships, but we provide technical support to some teams. Regarding KZ2, this season we have been involved with Genís Cívico. It is a very demanding category where we also want to shine.
How are you brothers getting along?
We understand each other perfectly! We have the same ideas, the same aspirations. We stand together in good times and bad. We are very lucky to do what we love the most and to do it together. We hope to continue to learn a little bit every day, while having fun.
2021 FIA Karting Best-of / Photo © KSP